Thursday, February 17, 2011

Case Study - Via Services

Via Services is a private, independent non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and special needs achieve greater self-sufficiency and lead richer lives. AwesomeShot Studios was asked to create a series of videos for achievement awards recipients over the years. The videos are screened at a luncheon award ceremony and also serve as promotional material for fundraisers.

Case Study - Creative Labs

Creative Labs needed a fun and unique way to introduce their X-Fi audio processing chips to their retailers before the product was launched. They called upon AwesomeShot Studios to create a short but informative video that was screened at the AMC Mercado theaters to a packed house. This allowed the company to present a focused and concise introduction with a minimum of time and resources. The entire production was scripted, shot, edited and delivered within 72 hours.

Case Study - Polycom

Polycom opened a brand new state-of-the art briefing center in Santa Clara and wanted to share the grand opening festivities with their employees and VIP clients. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be possible in a company with 2700 employees given the constraints of the facility. CEO Andrew Miller chose AwesomeShot Studios capture the ribbon cutting, tours and welcoming remarks in order to share with those employees who couldn't attend. Ultimately, this kept downtime to a minimum and saved Polycom thousands.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

La Rinconada Golf Course and Country Club: Barbara & Jason's Wedding

La Rinconada Golf Course and Country Club: Barbara & Jason's Wedding from Oren on Vimeo.

This wedding was a blast! I knew it would be when I first met with Barbara and Jason last year. They told me about how much they were looking forward to this day and how involved Jason was with the preparations. The early-summer California sun shone down on the first tee of La Rinconada as they couple exchanged their vows. There were tears, laughter, and most importantly, a feeling that this union was meant to be. AwesomeShot Studios was glad to be there and preserve those moments that go by all too quickly, and are soon forgotten.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Eco-chic: One ring to rule them all.

This week, I want to talk a bit about jewelry and it's connection to environmental responsibility. Thanks to recent news exposure, many of us are aware about diamonds and their connection to war-zone conflicts and financing of insurgencies. These so-called conflict, or blood diamonds have been a black-eye to the jewelry industry, who are now pushing 'conflict-free' diamonds from areas such as Canada, Australia and Namibia. The Kimberly process is a step in the right direction, but it does nothing to address the environmental impacts of mining and extraction methods. In countries with advanced infrastructure and stricter government oversight, some efforts are made to restore mined areas to their natural state. That is rarely the case with third-world and conflict diamonds. Heirloom diamonds and lab-made diamonds are a great options that have lower impact on our planet. To learn more about cultured diamonds, check out Gemesis's excellent site.

Gold is perhaps the most popular precious metal, but it is also the most environmentally damaging to extract and process. Thankfully, there are just as many options that will allow you to feel better about your choice of symbols of everlasting love and unity. 'Green Gold', or Oro Verde refers to sustainably and safely mined gold from Columbia. Similar to fair-trade coffee, this fair-trade gold allows an indigenous culture to continue to thrive free of exploitation. Check out Cred, for fair-trade precious metals, or look at Green Karat for recycled gold jewelery.

Looking for something more unique? Not all of us are vanilla or chocolate fans. Thankfully, there are endless options that will garner just as much admiration and allow you to express your creativity. For a stylish, lightweight and eco-friendly choice, check out titanium. This metal is harder than gold and silver-so you don't have to worry as much about dents and deep scratches. Titanium is also hypo-allergenic if you have sensitive skin. No worries about rashes or discoloration. Gold, silver and other precious metals can be incorporated for unlimited design options. My wife and I chose titanium and couldn't be happier. We even had interior engraving to further customize them. The wonderful lightness of these rings are ideal for men that don't usually wear jewelry. They are a very low-maintenance option. Learn more about titanium grading and view some stylish samples here.

Think you're tough? Well, you're no match for tungsten-carbide rings which can only be cut by a diamond. Sometimes referred to as the permanently-polished ring, they are the most wear-resistant metal you can buy. When you reach your 50th anniversary and look down at your wedding ring, it should shine as bright as the day you first put it on. Not exactly the lightest of metals, but some people prefer the heft of a substantial piece of jewelery. If I were to get a 2nd ring, it would probably be a tungsten-carbide with wood inlay similar to this piece.

In a future post, I will cover more ways to save some 'green' on your wedding while keeping the environment in mind.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Meet Your Next Graphic Designers- Anna & Erin

I've been a little obsessed with business cards lately. They occupy my mind, and a decent portion of my filing cabinet. I must have gone through at least a dozen designs in as many years. They look great when I first have them printed...and I'm eager to pass them around. But within a few months, I start seeing flaws. Pretty soon, I make excuses like "this is my old card", or "I'm in the middle of a re-design". Not a very confident message to send out. If the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then my self-imposed graphic design was mad indeed.

With that in mind, I was eager to meet with Anna and Erin, two cousins who got together to form Mixed Palette. What an apt name, as they both bring their unique skills to the table. I met with them over some coffee and we had a great conversation about my rebranding needs. They asked excellent questions and showed me an impressive portfolio of work. Within a few weeks, I was reviewing a variety of creative and elegant logos. The hardest part would be choosing just one.

From the first meeting through the review process to the final product, the team at Mixed Palette was a joy to work with. I hope you will check them out.

Meet Anna and Erin of Mixed Palette from Oren on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Shannon was the picture of nervous anticipation when I arrived at her parents house a few minutes before 1pm. Her hair and makeup were almost done, thanks to the skill of the fabulous Mina Drake. Her sisters, Ashton, Aundrea and cousin Elizabeth were all in matching white robes looking very relaxed. Could it be that the only one nervous was Shannon's dad? It was hard to tell on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

With the ceremony only a few hours away, Janet Lash of A Very Special Occasion was no doubt tending to all the stylish details at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Leila Simms of Half Moon Flowers would soon arrive to setup the rose and vine arch in birch vases that would frame Shannon and Kerry for their ceremony. DJ Adrian of Sound in Motion DJ's would roll in his systems and prepare the music that would serve as the soundtrack to their day.

I even had some time before Alfred Salom Photography arrived (a rare luxury), which allowed me to get a few stories from the bride on how she and Kerry met and fell in love. It was great to hear how they breezed through their pre-wedding counseling, both agreeing that they had no reservations at all.

When Shannon's uncle showed up in a vintage Caddy, I got a bit jealous that I couldn't be the chauffeur for a day.We arrived at the winery in time to watch the cake setup by BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake Design. The weather couldn't be better, and guests started arriving and immediately commenting on the beautiful scenery and decorations.

I knew the bride and groom would be jetting off to Hawaii soon after the wedding, but I wanted to give them a bit of a teaser of their movie to come. Enjoy and congratulations to Shannon and Kerry.

Mountain Winery Saratoga Wedding Teaser- Shannon & Kerry from Oren on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Green Weddings - Fad or Fantastic?

Recent headlines about the BP oil spill in the Gulf got me thinking once again about the impact we all have on this world. I won't rally against the evils of oil, as nothing yet has been found to effectively replace it (especially when it comes to plastics and other oil-related products we rely upon daily). I will recommit myself to maintaining a low footprint in my work and my life.

Small steps, helped by an industry that is finally waking up to the realities of shrinking resources and consumer awareness, can lead to big results. For example, I have completely eliminated disposable batteries since 2009. It required a few (more expensive) equipment this is not necessarily a money-saver, at least in the short term. But I'm so much happier knowing that I don't have to dispose of a half-used set of batteries after each and every shoot.

Likewise, moving my demo videos online means fewer DVDs sent out. From 2001-2008 I was averaging 56 mailed DVDs per year. I'm pretty sure they eventually find their way into a landfill. As online viewing options and quality increased, that number greatly decreased. I'm hoping that this year will continue as a online-viewing-only year.
A recent wedding I covered in Monterey included some wonderful, earth-friendly touches such as hand-painted wood cake-toppers and paper-flower table seating guides. Low impact can be quite chic and stylish. The only limit is your imagination and willingness to think outside the box.

In the next few weeks, I'll be writing more about other ways to 'green' your big day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Swept Away: Lydia & John

Viansa Winery in Sonoma is one of my favorite wine-country destinations. I used to visit there often after I relocated to California from New York. When I found out that I would be capturing Lydia and John's wedding in Viansa, I was excited to return there. I distinctly remember my last wedding at Viansa, as it was 108 degrees and everyone was hugging the shade. A breeze was most welcome that day, and we were all glad when the heat finally broke. By comparison, the 25 mph gusts made the 65 degree day just a bit chillier. The golden sun, bright green vines and warm ocher hues of the winery contrasted with the beautiful blue of the sky and bridesmaids' dresses. Inside the white reception tent a clean white on white scheme was accented with silver twigs holding candle votives. This intimate and beautifully organized wedding was a delight for the senses. The winds might have been blowing a bit more than usual, but it did nothing to faze this wonderful couple.
The fantastic team included Tinywater Photography, California DJ's, and Wine Country Flowers.

Lydia & John: Wine Country Wedding from Oren on Vimeo.